Society finances are split into two separate areas:
- The Society Membership account
- ENSA Strategic Funding
No Society is permitted to hold an external bank account or credit card.
The Membership account is where all of the membership fees and any additional income raised from fundraising, sponsorship, event ticket sales, etc., are deposited.
Money in the Society’s Membership account is cumulative and may be built up across a Society’s years of operation, making it possible for Societies to plan for the long term.
Societies can apply for additional Strategic Funding from ENSA, the award of which will be decided by the President for Societies and Community and Depute Manager. There are two opportunities to apply for Strategic Funding each year, once in October and once in February. Strategic Funding can only be spent on what has been specified in the application and cannot be retained indefinitely by the Society.
ENSA Strategic Funding is not available to societies in their first calendar year of operation.
You can check up on your account balances and obtain a transaction report at any time by getting in touch with ENSA.
Paying money in
You can pay cash money or cheques into your Membership account at any time in the ENSA office. Cheques should be made payable to Edinburgh Napier Students’ Association with your Society name written on the back of the cheque. Money transacted on the ENSA website is automatically deposited in your account.
Paying money out
To use the money in your account you can either pass ENSA an invoice that needs to be paid directly, or you can claim money back upon the production of receipts. With very rare exception, we will never give societies money without any paperwork to support the transaction.
If there are insufficient funds in your Membership account or Strategic Funding award to pay an invoice or reimburse members, then ENSA will not authorise this payment and individual Society members will end up in debt. It is imperative to check your balance before making purchases.
You will need to fill out a yellow requisition form for all Society outgoings, and cash for purchases can often be paid back immediately. If a large amount of money needs to be reimbursed, the Finance Officer may pay this directly into the claimant’s bank account.
All Society spending should support in some way the Society’s aims and objectives. Ideally the Society development and financial plans for the year ahead will guide spending and allow Societies to budget successfully.
ENSA may not authorise a payment if it contravenes the guidelines in section 7.2 of the Society Finance Policy.
Societies should read the Society Finance Policy before making financial decisions, as this Policy includes a list of things which Society money cannot be spent on.
Additionally, as a charity in it’s own right, ENSA cannot directly give money to another charity unless a Society has raised that money through a fundraising event or similar, where it is explicitly stated on all advertising that money raised will go to the designated charity.
Fundraising is a good way to raise additional money throughout the year. Societies can do this in any number of ways, including selling branded clothing to Society members and taking a cut off the top, putting on a fundraising event, or asking Society members to take part in a sponsored activity.
Sponsorship deals are another method of raising money. In its simplest form, sponsorship is the idea that a group will get money from an external organisation (usually a for-profit business) in exchange for promoting the business to its members or using their facilities on a regular basis. If a Society is considering sponsorship or has negotiated a deal, they should get advice from ENSA before signing the contract.
ENSA Society Finance Policy
There is more information about all aspects of Society finances in the ENSA Society Finance Policy which you can find here. Please refer to this Policy for more information on:
- Membership accounts
- Strategic Funding
- Membership fees
- Spending restrictions
- Financial reporting
- Freshers and New Society financial boosts